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Glossary of library terms

Essential library vocabulary




Refers to a line of text given underneath a work (such as an image or table) that contains information about the author and the source.


Brief nonfiction text written by an author on a particular topic. Can be published in a newspaper, magazine, website or journal.  

Catalogue (or catalog)

A list of all the physical and electronic items available in the Library. Searchable via the Library Website


All the information required to identify and locate a work such as a book or journal article. A citation usually appears in the text of your assignment and in the reference list
Copyright (©) A law that applies to published works such as images, text, music, video, and artwork.  This law gives the creator of the work the exclusive right to use and distribute their work, unless they have given permission for it to be used by others. More on copyright
Database A computer-searchable collection of information such as books, journal articles and videos. 
Journal publication that contains scholarly articles. Released on a regular basis. Can be peer-reviewed. 
Peer-reviewed A journals and articles are described as peer-reviewed when other experts in the field have read the information and verified it as being accurate.
Publication A work such as a book or journal that has been released for distribution, or the act of distributing the work.
Publisher The business or organisation that releases and distributes a publication, such as a book or journal. Example: Oxford University Press. 
Reference citation to a work is also known as a reference. To reference something means you have provided information about the author and location of the source. 
Source The material that contains the information. Example: the book, journal article or website, or data.